Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

Businesses must start recruiting on attitude, social competence and character - not CVs

New talent acquisition campaign launches to address skills shortages by changing mind set on how businesses recruit great talent

Industry thought-leader and leadership expert, EP Insights (, has launched its new talent acquisition campaign in response to a series of controversial think tank events, which identified that high numbers of businesses could be losing out on future talent due to obsolete recruitment processes and short-sighted approaches.

In an era where skills shortages and lack of trust in leadership are at an all time high across many industries, this latest campaign aims to increase the pool of valid, but often over-looked talent that exists in society today by removing out-dated approaches that recruit on CV alone, thereby ruling out potentially suitable applicants.

Chris Sheppardson, CEO at EP Insights explains: “Attitude and character are a vital consideration when recruiting and it’s hard to believe that we still talk about skills shortages as an industry even though we can’t seem to look beyond two sheets of A4 paper.  We should be focusing our energies on establishing if a person has the right attitude, social competence and character for the role.  This is about fairness and encouraging all talent to be represented in the right way without prior judgement, if they possess the required attributes.  It’s also about behaving with respect towards others.  Talent deserves better, it deserves to have a voice.”

EP’s campaign is centred on core attitudes that fall into one of two categories: a fixed mind set and a growth mind set.  

Sheppardson continued: “In the case of the fixed mind set, you believe you are who you are and you cannot change, which creates problems when you are challenged because anything that appears to be more than you can handle, is bound to leave you feeling hopeless and overwhelmed.  In the case of the growth mind set you believe you can improve with effort – these people naturally outperform those with a fixed mind-set, even when they have a lower IQ, because they embrace challenges, treating them as opportunities to learn something new.”

This new approach to recruitment is about focusing on a display of inner strength and character at interview stage, so applicants would have to demonstrate attributes such as:

  • Ability to deal with failure: success in life is about how one deals with failure. Common sense would suggest that being smart inspires confidence. It does, but only while the going is easy. The deciding factor in life is how you handle setbacks and challenges. People with a growth mind-set manage setbacks 
  • Personable: passion and care are key in life and work
  • Showing leadership: how often do we measure a candidate’s working potential beyond themselves? How they do show leadership in daily life?
  • Beyond CV: What does their background and track record tell us beyond what is written on their CV?
  • Social competence: how do they present themselves and do they have both the social and presentational skills to influence others?

“If the industry wants to talk of skills shortages with any degree of credibility, then it needs to start by ensuring it possesses the right processes and vision to be able to recruit great talent for the future”, concluded Sheppardson.ENDS